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To feel like a failure!

(181 Posts)
upndown Sat 09-Mar-13 22:53:43

Basically my daughter - 6, is very overweight. She is in 10- 11 year clothes and carries the most weight on her tummy, but is visible overweight all over.

She was a very skinny toddler, but her weight crept up over the years from around the age of three. I honestly don't know how I've allowed it to get this way but I'm struggling to get her weight down. I eat a healthy diet in general. But I have a love for all things sweet too. I guess I've allowed my daughter to too.

She always seems to be hungry and over the past few weeks I have ensure that five days of the week she has no sweets/chocolate. at the weekends - I allow her some treats. She fills up in between meals on fruit.

Why haven't I seen a loss? I know these things are gradual, but she looks exactly the same size! I'm careful that she doesn't pick up on this, but she is already concious of her weight because she said 'I wan't a flat tummy like my friends at school" I am SO angry with myself for letting it get this bad. I know there are friends in her class that live on crap and fast foods. They are bean poles!

The types of food she eats are listed below. I never fry food or cook in grease and use healthy spread for toast.

Weetabix/rice crispies
granary toast
low fat cream cheese
lots of fruit
most veg
fish fingers (yes I know!)
pasta with pesto
new potatoes
rice cakes/breadsticks
skimmed milk

mcdonalds is the only fast food she would eat and that is on average a handful of times a year.

chocolate was most days until the last 6 weeks.

is anyone in asimilar position. I want her healthy, but not feeling her weight truly reflects what she consumes??

btw, she is not very active, but I think that's mainly due to her size...

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 18-Mar-13 16:01:06

I'd like to say that I have read this thread with interest. DS is borderline overweight and loves his carbs and sweet stuff, however when he does exercise he throws himself into it and I think that's why so far it's just about in control.

As a result of this thread I have been making a consicous effort to make sure he gets more veggies - he loves raw carrots and frozen peas and does a bit more exercise.

It's tricky and the thing I hate more than anything else is being judged. One of the boys in DS's nursery class is heavily overweight. He struggles to run or move fast, but she has two other boys that have perfectly normal frames, therefore it's a bit too facile to assume it's all down to bad parenting food choices.

I wish DS would eat more slowly. It's something I have learned as part of Paul McKenna. It would be great if someone could devise a book/CD specifically for children that explained why it was important to eat healthily and ways to do that i.e. eating slowly, stopping when you are full, savouring what you eat, but not judgemental about being overweight. It's a really hard message to get across.

MohammedLover Mon 18-Mar-13 10:14:41

Have you tried doing a few mins of running up and down the stairs or star jumps in each advert break for example. It can soon start adding up.

Is it just the two of you at home or have you got a partner who also needs to be on board with the changes? Amazing how many calories can be quickly put away behind ones back "if mum's not looking".

Please update this thread further down the line, I for one would be interested to know how it's going smile

Good luck at staying positive it's sometimes hard to remember what motivated this challenge when the results take so long to come along.

lambinapram Fri 15-Mar-13 11:55:06

This book gives good advice:

I agree Ruprekt -fat and protien satifies, high carb and sugar creates cravings and hunger.

Ruprekt Tue 12-Mar-13 21:28:46

I would do the opposite to boysarebonkers!

Switch to full fat everything and lower the carbs and sugar. It is sugar that makes us fat Not fat itself.

Fill her up for breakfast with sausages and poached eggs.

Lots of water and some milk.

Lunch could be ham or chicken with lots of salad veggies.

Dinner could be roast pork crackling and broccoli and creamed cabbage.

She will be so full she will not want to snack. I wonder if she eats out of boredom.

fuzzpig Mon 11-Mar-13 08:35:08

Quite often when we do something with mash, we use half potatoes and half sweet potato, it's really tasty and gives a wider range of nutrients.

myBOYSareBONKERS Mon 11-Mar-13 06:55:45

Young children needed full fat milk for the calorie content when they were growing at their fasted. Older children do not need these calories as they get it from other foods.

Calcium content is the same.

Change to skimmed milk and low fat cheese, yoghurts, spreads etc

rushinrussian Mon 11-Mar-13 02:08:08

Get her a trampoline maybe, if that's an option. Or skates. Or a skipping rope. I think it's good to try as many activities as possible and stick to the ones she like.

flow4 Mon 11-Mar-13 01:23:36

Up, from what you've said, it sounds like it's most likely to be your DD's lack of activity that's causing her to be over weight: at 6, she should be vigorously active for at least an hour a day...

But I do think it is worth talking to your GP about whether she needs a referral to an endocrine specialist. PCOS can run in families, so it's possible your DD has it too; and although it's unlikely she'd get a diagnosis before puberty, obesity and insulin resistance are early signs that can start before puberty ( reference ) ... I reckon it's worth getting this checked out.

Morloth Mon 11-Mar-13 01:02:24

Just tweak it:

Breakfast either 1.5 weetabix or small bowl of Rice Krispies (approx the amount you would get in a variety pack) with skimmed milk and a slice of granary toast with flora

No point in rice krispies, you might as well just give her a bowl of white sugar. However, with the weetbix. Add a dollop of full cream yoghurt and you can get ground up lsa (linseed, soy, almonds) from the health food shop. Throw in a banana and maybe a squidge of honey, and it is yum. If having toast (instead not as well as) whack some peanut butter on there (or other nut butter)

Mid day snack - could be organix snack bar or nature valley oats and honey bar or a piece of fruit.

Once again, pretty much just sugar, absolutely keep the fruit, but maybe some cheese or something?

Lunch, a low fat cheese spread sandwich on granary (only filling she'll eat), some blueberries or raspberries or grapes, an apple, a fromage frais and carrot sticks. Also, she will have an innocent smoothie.

Full fat cheese spread (and plenty of it), darkest bread you can get (with seeds), drop the fromage frais, grapes and smoothie, more carrots and maybe some other veg that are nice to eat raw.

After school, a rice cake and some fruit

We don't really do snacks after school, if they ask they can have an apple, but I don't offer

Dinner could be pasta and sausages/fish fingers/cod/chicken, could be rice dish or bolognaise (I mostly cook from scratch - no jars) she eats veg with each meal.

Increase her protein portion while reducing the carb portion, say with bolognaise. Add grated veg to the meat (carrot, zucchini whatever), whack in a can of beans certainly don't put sugar in the sauce (which is a very strange English activity I encountered while I was there!), give her more of the bolognaise and less of the spaghetti, maybe a little grated cheese on top, with sausages, buy good ones with as little 'fillers' as possible, a couple of those, plenty of veg (broccoli, peas, corn etc) maybe some mash, but make it good mash with butter and cream and have less of it, so lots and lots of non starchy veg, a good portion of protein and a little bit of nice mash

After dinner until bed any snacks are basically fruit or rice cakes/breadsticks.

No after dinner snacks, completely unnecessary and just going to get stored as fat.

DH and I are both prone to packing it on if we don't pay attention. So we pay attention to both our's and the kid's diets. I have PCOS and carbs fuck me up.

Say 'yes' sometimes to sweets/treats but make sure they actually are a treat every now and again - not something that happens all the time.

KitchenandJumble Mon 11-Mar-13 00:45:13

It can be so difficult to know what the right thing to do is, especially since advice will be quite varied (as this thread indicates). I think your plans are great. I would also suggest getting rid of the scooter and walking to and from school. It may not seem like much exercise, but every little bit helps, especially as your DD has a relatively sedentary life. I'd also encourage her to go out and play at school rather than join the drawing club. Maybe suggest the club once a week and the other days participate in more physical activities?

Good luck. You're not a failure, you're a concerned mother who has seen an issue to work on and is taking steps toward a solution. That's a success in my book!

VelvetSpoon Mon 11-Mar-13 00:37:51

Up, honestly please don't feel a failure! None of us are perfect parents, everyone gets stuff wrong, it's just some things are more visible than others. The great thing is, you are trying to do something about it, and that your DD is young enough that hopefully you can deal with it without it becoming a big, negative issue.

I wish I'd done something about my DS's weight 3-4 years ago or so when he was going from stocky to chubby. I didn't, and now he is nearly 15 it is so much harder to tackle. The sports thing I think is because the school is so poor academically they are really pushing that side of things, at the expense of sports. The head of PE said to DS when he started at the school that he'd make a perfect rugby player if only they had a team!

squeakytoy Mon 11-Mar-13 00:29:40

You arent a failure... stop beating yourself up over it. With the lighter nights and warmer weather coming, now is the perfect time to get into a new lifestyle.

I would suggest perhaps giving her a drink of water before or with her dinner so that she does feel full before she over eats.

Viviennemary Mon 11-Mar-13 00:25:13

How on earth can you be a failure when you are intending to do the best you can about this. Hope you get things sorted out soon.

upndown Mon 11-Mar-13 00:09:46

Thank you all again! It's hard not to feel a failure as I've allowed it to escalate to what it is now. My 6 year old daughter at 5 stone! The fact she is becoming aware makes it harder. But, beating myself up about it will not achieve results, it has however fuelled me to take action now!

I've genuinely found this thread to be extremely useful and supportive.

Squeaky - I have googled those mini trampettes and am currently watching one on Ebay - ready to pounce! thanks :-)

Velvet - very interesting regarding your children's eating habits! My daughter eats way past full too. Such a shame also that their secondary school don't provide more opportunities for sports!? or is it that your sons' don't want to? Work full time is hard isn't it.

I feel guilty that I'm around, but not around if that makes sense, because I work from home.

Viviennemary Mon 11-Mar-13 00:00:28

I'd try not to worry to much. And also cut down a bit on bread and other carbs. Also a bit of excercise wouldn't do any harm. Swimming or cycling perhaps.

squeakytoy Sun 10-Mar-13 23:57:04

the reason kids have and need more carbs is because generally they are twice as active as adults and need the extra fuel because they burn it off more easily and naturally. OPs little girl isnt having enough exercise at the moment so I would say lowering the carbs that she currently has is not going to do any harm as currently they are just sitting there building fat rather than getting used up.

VelvetSpoon Sun 10-Mar-13 23:55:07

Can I just say you're not a failure. It sounds as though you are very determined to resolve this, which is great.

I think it's quite easy, if you have DC who are naturally slim, to be a little bit smug, and just say 'oh you need to do XYZ, more exercise, less food, are you fat yourself' blahblah.

I have 2 DSs. Brought up identically. Served the same meals, offered the same snacks etc. DS1 is overweight. DS2 is, if anything, underweight. The difference is that DS1 has an emotional relationship with food, eats his feelings, eats through boredom, is never 'full'. DS2 eats until he is full, no more. If that means leaving a slice of carrot on his plate, one crisp in a bag, or whatever, he leaves it and will not eat it.

That 'switch' in his head I think means DS2 will never be overweight. DS1 however I think will always need to watch and be conscious of what he eats. It's sad, and I wish it was different. We struggle with opportunities to exercise too, I work FT so am not home til 7 most nights, and both DSs do barely any sports at their secondary school - rugby would be ideal for DS1, but the school refuse to allow it as it is considered dangerous.

BIWI Sun 10-Mar-13 23:50:55

And one other thing that is hugely important, is that you are absolutely not a failure. You have recognised that there is a problem. You want to sort it out. But you are also a victim here - current advice is totally wrong.

BIWI Sun 10-Mar-13 23:48:50

upndown - I honestly don't know about nutritional advice for children. However, I would be prepared to put money on it that the advice for adults would equally apply to children - i.e. that we need to eat a whole lot less carbohydrates.

I am not a doctor, nor a scientist, nor a nutritionist however, so I can't advise specifically. All that I can say, based on the reading that I have done, is that I view carbohydrates that come from things like flour, pasta, rice, sugar, fruit and bread as particularly problematic. And advice to give up things like butter, cheese and full fat milk is misguided.

squeakytoy Sun 10-Mar-13 23:47:03

If she is having fish, chicken and cheese, then she is getting protein so I wouldnt get too worried there.

Do you have room for one of the mini trampette things? I have one of those and they are great. I also recommend the wii fit for getting some fat burning going on..

upndown Sun 10-Mar-13 23:42:47

BIWI - Thanks for that - sounds like an interesting read! Do you happen to know a reliable internet site where I can get information on kids nutrition? I googled about Full fat milk for children and got such conflicting advice!! Lots of sites recommend switch to semi skimmed after 2-3 years!

Morloth - sounds like you're doing a great job.. Going to have a task on my hands upping my daughters protein!

Squeakytoy - she dislikes baked beans also! She used to love them when she was younger.

Morloth Sun 10-Mar-13 23:35:30

A bugger about no space for trampoline, as it is a massive help here for keeping them moving on days at home.

The x-box kinect is used by all of us on rainy weekends, it is a hell of a work out.

Morloth Sun 10-Mar-13 23:33:21

A school day in the life of my very active 8.5 year old boy:

Breakfast: Bowl of High Protein Cereal + a couple of tablespoons of mixed nuts+seeds with full cream milk. Piece of fruit (usually a banana for a 'hit').

Morning tea: Cheese/yoghurt/fruit

Lunch: Ham/roast beef/chicken sandwich on dark seedy grainy bread + usually something surgery from the school canteen. Some cheese + salad bits (i.e. cherry tomatoes, cucumber etc).

Dinner: Some sort of protein (might be meat, might be halloumi, might be fish) and plenty of it. Lots of low starch vegetables, maybe some pasta or rice or potato but not everyday and I usually use carrots/corn as the starch, obviously go for the wholemeal version of everything.

Desserts happen only on weekends and I make no attempt to make them healthy.

He fills up on protein and fat and then has a bit of carb rather than the other way around.

squeakytoy Sun 10-Mar-13 23:25:44

"I think if her snacking between meals is reduced, she is more likely to be 'starving' by dinner time and less likely to be picky about what's on her dinner plate"

I would absolutely agree with that. As a kid I was lucky not to really have a sweet tooth, and my mum would bring tomatoes with her when she picked me up from school..

As for the protein, does she like baked beans? They are full of fibre and protein. She could have those on toast for a quick breakfast.

BIWI Sun 10-Mar-13 23:24:59

updnown - I can really recommend that you read "Escape the Diet Trap" by Dr John Briffa. He talks about carbs/fat/protein and gives a lot of background about why we are recommended to follow a diet these days which is deleterious for our health,

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